Even with a poor shooting night in Purdue’s elimination game to Saint Peter’s, Ivey still knocked down 37.5 percent of his 16 3-point attempts in the tournament and proved he’s comfortable taking midrange jumpers, too. He made some clutch shots in the Boilermakers’ second-round win over Texas and got to the free throw line at will in each of his first two games.metasports
If there’s an NBA team that lands in the top three in the lottery and needs a guard more than a big, don’t be surprised to see Ivey’s name called ahead of one of the prospects above him on this list.
Ivey did it all for Purdue during its run to the Sweet 16. The undeniable best perimeter player in the 2022 NBA Draft class showed off his blend of speed, explosiveness and physicality on both ends while also giving us a glimpse of his improved jump shot that has helped him turn into a top-five pick.
Smith’s tournament run was cut short after Auburn was upset by Miami in the Round of 32.
The rising freshman forward had moments where he looked like a potential top pick, but some of his biggest questions were also brought to light. He recorded two double-doubles, knocked down four 3s in the opening round, tallied three blocks in the second round and dished out four assists in each game. His pure shooting stroke looked great against Jacksonville State, but his inability to create for himself was magnified in a 3-for-16 shooting night against Miami.
He controlled the glass and showed he can be a versatile defender who can also protect the rim, but his ball-handling and shot creation will have to improve to get to that potential All-Star level as an NBA prospect.
Even though he slides down one spot, Holmgren was still impressive in the NCAA Tournament. The freshman 7-footer showcased all of the tools that make him one of the most unique prospects we’ve ever seen.
He owned the paint on the defensive end, putting a lid on the rim by tallying 13 blocks in just three games. He was dominant on the glass as well, recording two double-doubles while coming up just one point and one rebound shy of a third against Memphis. Holmgren also flashed some confidence as a ball-handler and knocked down a couple of jumpers that made you see why he’s in consideration for the top pick.
He passed a physicality test against Jalen Duren in the second round but foul trouble did limit him – and Gonzaga – in that contest and in its Sweet 16 elimination game. Holmgren silenced some of his critics, but there will always be doubters who don’t see how he projects as a top prospect in the NBA.
In my pre-March Madness Mock Draft, I had Holmgren jump Banchero for the top spot for the first time this season. Holmgren was dominant during conference play and had a solid showing in the tournament, but Banchero made it clear during Duke’s run to the Final Four that he is the most NBA-ready prospect in this class.
His agility at his size made for a mismatch any time bigs tried to defend him on the perimeter. If he found a matchup he liked in the post, he flashed his smooth footwork and elite shot creation skills to get a bucket. Banchero knocked down big shots from 3-point range, showed off his perceptive playmaking and gave us a better idea of his ceiling as a defender when he’s locked in on that end of the floor.